Your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change

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Week Five, Day Two: 22 April

I was feeling daunted by the pace of change this week. And so, having decided that it was best to know than to worry, I sneaked a peak at this run immediately after the last one. It looked challenging but I felt okay about it. Well, maybe more ambivalent – adjective having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone. But, to be honest, I didn’t waste too much time thinking about it. What I did do was make sure I was in a good place to begin with (no blisters or additional exercise classes and an early night!).

Yesterday was the last day of the 21-day meditation challenge. The friend who set it up, and has been guiding myself and the others through it, suggested we have a zoom meeting to reflect on how we found it (the amount of times I have mentioned zoom I think they should give me a commission! there are other video communication systems out there but I haven’t tried them…yet). She suggested 9.30pm but I asked for an earlier time so that I could be in bed by 9pm! I have really enjoyed taking a few minutes each day to meditate, and I was sad this had come to an end, so I have decided to redo the 8-week mindfulness course I did last year.

Having had my early night, I was up and out of the house by 5.55am, my reward was seeing the sun rising over the trees. As the sun is getting up earlier each day I had been missing this, getting out just 15 or 20 minutes later meant that instead of the beautiful orange globe, I had the bright yellow sun directly in my eyes. So it was a treat to see this again. There was no one else around, so I had that lovely feeling of being at one with nature. To top it off, I saw the barn owl again. Definitely worth getting out of bed that little bit earlier.

So, onto today’s run – 5-minute warm up walk, 8-minute run, 5-minute brisk walk, another 8-minute run followed by a 5-minute cool down walk. I had also decided to listen to Toots again as they had really helped me when I last had an enjoyable run…Did I just say enjoyable?!!!!

Off I went, first 8-minute run, although I had managed to keep my anxieties at bay before the run, they now made themselves known. My body felt wrong, there was tension between my shoulder blades that ran up my neck, my thighs felt like lead, and my ankle kept twinging. It felt like I had run for ages when Sarah Millican gave me the ‘4-minute marker’ but I kept going, and finished the first run. The 5-minute walk went by really quickly, and then the second and last (thank heavens) 8-minute run. I felt as before, if not worse, and that damned bridge nearly killed me, but I finished. My breathing was hard, but under control, and my thighs had turned from lead into jelly!

I did not enjoy it this run – not one little bit. But if I manage to finish a run, then I am going to attempt the next one no matter how I feel. And right now, being able to run 5k is looking further off than ever.

If you are thinking of doing something similar take care to stay safe.

To do this I am:

  • Keeping social distancing. I aim to get out by 6.30am (I am a lark not an owl), so there are very few people around, and if I do meet them I stay 2 meters away.
  • I have my phone with me, and someone knows where I am going and when I am due back.
  • And, of course, I have Dog with me.
Top tips to keep you safe and well during this strange time.
  • Keep to the self-isolating and social distancing rules.
  • Keep in contact with friends, family, and, of course, Restore.
  • Find a routine and stick to it (I can’t emphasize enough how important this is)
  • Every day do something for your physical and mental well-being. On the days I am not running I go out for a walk. I am also doing a 21-day meditation challenge with 2 friends. This benefits my well-being as well as keeping me connected every day. There are plenty of meditation apps out there, but if that isn’t your thing then find something that nurtures your soul. This can be as simple as listening to the birds sing or gazing up at the stars.
  • Set yourself a challenge. This could be big or small, it’s entirely up to you.

These are just a few ideas and there are plenty more out there. The Restore website has a directory of useful and trusted websites with information, tips and ideas, here.

The Reluctant Jogger and Dog